Lovely though it might feel to walk through a sudden gush of Arctic air on an otherwise hot, steamy New York City day, businesses that keep their doors open with the air conditioning on can now expect to pay a fine if they’re caught blasting cool air onto the sidewalks. [More]
There’s nothing quite like walking down the street on a hot, muggy day in the middle of August in New York City, only to walk past a store with its doors open and feel a quick blast of arctic air. But as nice as that might feel, it’s not so great for the environment. To combat all that leaking air, come summer, NYC is going to enforce a new law that require stores to keep their doors shut when the AC is on.
Anyone who’s ever lived in an apartment without the sublimely cool luxury of central air has likely tackled the seemingly insurmountable task of installing a window AC unit. It’s a stressful time, to say the least, unless you’re an expert. Because most of us aren’t, wouldn’t it be great if installation instructions were a lot more honest? [More]
They work silently, leaving no trace behind. A Chicago neighborhood is on alert after the number of thefts of air conditioning units have jumped sharply in recent weeks. The robbers are after the copper inside, which they can resell for scrap, a favorite quick money-making method for drug addicts. But they’re not just cracking open the units and plundering the pipe, they’re lifting the entire central AC unit.
If you’re looking for a small, cheap way to cool a small area, it’s pretty easy to make your own “evaporative cooler.” Also known as “swamp coolers,” it’s basically any system that uses a fan to blow out rising cool water vapor. All you need is a fan, an ice chest, water and a few ice packs. How fancy you get after that is a matter of how much effort you want to put it to make it as efficient as possible, and whether you want it to be portable. Here’s a few Instructables to get you started:
“My husband came home and saw someone hunched over by the AC unit. He basically said, ‘What are you doing?’ and when he did that and touched my son, he fell over. And when he fell over, he made this strange sound like the air was coming out of his lungs,” said a woman who is now the president of UPROAR, United Parents to Restrict Open Access to Refrigerant.
We in the Northeast won’t stop whining about our heat wave. (It’s really hot here! Did you hear?) But the beginning of hot weather is also a good time to remember that the same insulating and cooling tricks that frugal Consumerists use in the winter to keep heat in can also serve to keep heat out in the summer.
In New York City, if you have a store with more than 4,000 square feet of retail space, or if you own a chain of at least five stores in the city, you’re required by law to keep your cool air inside where it belongs. That means none of this leaving the door open so your cool air will “lure in overheated customers,” reports WNYC. A city councilwoman says she hopes to conduct surveys this week to catch any retailers skirting the law. An employee at French Connection in SoHo said that her store is concerned about the energy crisis, so they only open one door instead of two these days.
“It is hot up in the biznasty,” you may find yourself saying as the heat wave blankets your town in boiling sun rays. Air conditioning is your primary defense against this scourge and you may need to buy a new one or upgrade an old one. The first question is how many BTUs do you need? This handy chart helps you figure that out:
An Oregon landlord refuses to let his tenants install air conditioners because he thinks they “look tacky.” Tenants of the Arbor Creek complex in Aloha who choose to sacrifice aesthetics for comfort have ten days to correct their mistake before facing eviction. One tenant’s kid already landed in the hospital thanks to heat stroke.
As you lounge in your house during the summer days, it’s hard not to associate that ambient air conditioner hum in the background with a paper shredder destroying your money.
Consumer Reports noted:
President Obama wants car makers to start making 35.5 MPG cars by 2016. Instead of improving fuel efficiency, automakers could very well just take the cheaper road of making the A/C less wasteful, thanks to what Jalopnik calls “a hummer-sized loophole” in the federal regulations. [Jalopnik] (Photo: Simone Ramella)
Reader F.’s air conditioner was broken, so he called the company that installed it when the house was built. They came out, charged him $100, and told him that he could repair the unit for $3,000 or replace it for $5,000. It’s a good thing he got a second opinion, because the second repair guy fixed the problem for $250.
Hot times are coming and you may find yourself buying a new air conditioner, but how do you figure out how many BTUs you need? Silencedotcom over in the Consumerist Forums posted this BTU guide: